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Young Firefighters

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  • Young Firefighters

    I got a question about volunteers. If manpower is a problem now a days why with Parents permission can't someone who is younger then 18 be able to wrisk there life. I know it's because there to young but whats the differance between someone 18 legal adult and 16 who would have parents permission to fight interior fires would like to get feed back just a thought that's all. DFD132

  • #2
    I agree with you, but I beilve it has something to do with child labo laws. But I'm not sure


    • #3
      No way!

      First reason is this; The same parents that sign and give permission for their minor children to do this job would be the same parents suing someone for millions when their kids gets hurt.

      The second reason, and the main one for me is this. There is a reason that 18 was made the "minimum age for people to make their own decisions. It's the maturity factor. Most teenagers don't have a real perception of the mortality and think fighting fire is just a "cool thing to do". The risk factor doesn't enter into it for most of them. There are some exceptions to that but who decides who is mature enough to make decisions and who is not?

      I agree manpower is a big issue but there has to be a better solution out there! I do not want to take the responsibility of taking a minor into a fire with me.

      Stay Safe...
      Rebecca Richardson FF/EMT
      Isles of Capri Fire Rescue
      South Florida


      • #4
        Because they should be in school learning grammer and how to spell.


        • #5
          Agreed, there is very little difference between the maturity level of a 16 year old, and an 18 year old. However morally and legally there is a big difference. Kinda like the question, 'what's the difference in an 18 year old and a 21 year old drinking'?

          At 16, you should be in school, going to proms, deciding what you want to do with the rest of your life. At 18, you should be finishing school, begin working towards goals for the rest of your life, and ready to strike forth on your own. At 16, most think they are immortal, at 18 most have had to deal with the question of death.

          Besides all of the above, Mama's still think of their 16 year olds as their baby's, at 18 they consider them their little boys.


          • #6
            Have to vote no on this one. The question of what's the difference between 16 and 18 and the answer is simple -- 2 years. Do you realize how many experiences a young adult faces in those 2 years from 16 to 18? They TRANSITION into making real life decisions in these critical years rather than tossing them into a working emergency with little or no previous critical decision making. In those 2 years they choose colleges, get drivers licenses, etc. I truly believe there is a significant difference in many (not all) 18 year olds vs 16 year olds.

            Not to mention child labor law prohibits wearing an SCBA, operating apparatus and operating power tools so what good is it really even if their parent says "Sure go ahead and let me son fight fire!"

            This is what we have junior and explorer groups for - to ease into the fire service and establish a solid foundation as both a FF and an adult. Remember your laws of building construction here. You can build nothing without a stable foundation!!


            • #7
              I think that it all depend on your situation. I joined our Dept. when I was 16 a few months later on a day time house fire I was in an pack seat on the attack team. It all depends on how your officers feal about you and trust your tranning. I saw my first trainnng fire at the age of 13 or so with fire fighting in the family for more the 125 yrs it was no surprize when at the age of 12/13 I told dad I was going into the fire service. Ever since then He has always told me If your going to do it do it right and he started working and tranning with me at 12/13 on our own and with the dept on drill nights I was a FF I at the age of 18, EMT-B at 18 and will be a paramedic here in April. Thats why I say it depends on the area and the people that you work with.

              Stay Safe and remember to put the wet stuff on the red stuff


              • #8


                FFTrainer has got the answer. I myself was in the explorer program for a short while and that is the way to go.

                Originally posted by FFTrainer:

                This is what we have junior and explorer groups for - to ease into the fire service and establish a solid foundation as both a FF and an adult. Remember your laws of building construction here. You can build nothing without a stable foundation!!
                I could not image that when I was 16 going and saving someone’s life. Sure, I wanted to and I knew where I wanted to go with my life but like many have said in this post there is a maturity factor we must consider. Every 16 year old has a lot of decisions to make and one of them is where do I go after high school.

                DFD132 live life to its fullest you will soon find out if you stay in the emergency services that life can be to short for 16 year olds. And no matter how strong you are or how mature you are the young ones hurt the most.



                Member IAFF Local 1664
                [email protected]


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dr inferno:
                  Because they should be in school learning grammer and how to spell.
                  Umm, that should be grammar

                  As far as the topic, I had a dispatcher explain it to me back when I was the ripe old age of 21 (She was 24). I said there was really no difference between 21 and 24 (no I wasn't trying to get a date
                  Her reply has stuck with me many years. "Think about how much more you know now, than when you were 18. That is how much more you will know when you become 24."
                  We weren't talking firefighting, but DFD32 can substitute ages and think how much more he has matured since he was 14, now that he's 16. He will grow that much more in the next 2 years.
                  Sit tight, stay focused in school (learn to spell). Your time will come soon enough and you will have plenty of years to be a firefighter. I'm going on 18 years in the fire service now and plan on at least that many more.


                  • #10
                    I would agree with IWOOD 110%....18 is the legal age to vote and to go to war for our beautiful country, the same goes for the "war" of Firefighting....


                    • #11
                      If you will check,the US Child Labor laws say an 18 year old can not be involved with a Hazardous Job. The SC Fire Academy just got this direct from the FEDS. They just issued a ruling that they will not even allow someone under 18 to attend an Academy class.

                      Things have changed -- check the laws

                      BE SAFE
                      BE PROUD
                      BE A FIREFIGHTER

                      [This message has been edited by cherryvale1 (edited 02-16-2001).]


                      • #12


                        • #13
                          I think it has to do with insurance. In New York State the legal age to fight fires is 16 but most departments make it 18 or 21 because of insurance. A NYSDEC Forest Ranger can impress people over the age of 16 to fight a wildland fire if it's threatening state land and anyone who refuses can go to jail. FYI.

                          [This message has been edited by Lewdog (edited 02-16-2001).]


                          • #14
                            Hey iwood51: Thanks for being a good speller, I had $10.00 bucks on the word "grammer" that it would go at least 8 posts before being picked up as an error. I will convert $10.00 bucks Canadian to the American dollar and I think you will still owe me -$2.00. You do understand that the spelling reference is to the fact that you will never be able to become a career firefighter, (if that is what you aspire to be) if you do not have an education. The days of getting hired because you were "there at the right time" are gone and you will have to earn your position in the fire service, or whatever vocation you choose, so chasing fires at 16 is not going to take you anywhere.


                            • #15
                              I am the example you are looking for, I am 17 years old and a firefighter. I get the same training as all the senior members and when I completed my training, with my parents permission, I was then allowed all the fire ground privilages as all other firefighters. I think that it is a great program and that it helps teenagers develop skills that will help them through the rest of their lives. My officer puts his life in my hands and if he or anyone else thought that I could not handle the responsibility then I would not be entering that burning structure.


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